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A groundbreaking collection of original essays, Stages of Reality establishes a new paradigm for understanding the relationship between stage and screen media. This comprehensive volume explores the significance of theatricality within critical discourse about cinema and television.Stages of Reality connects the theory and practice of cinematic theatricality through conceptual analyses and close readings of films including The Matrix and There Will be Blood. Contributors illuminate how this mode of address disrupts expectations surrounding cinematic form and content, evaluating strategies such as ostentatious performances, formal stagings, fragmentary montages, and methods of dialogue delivery and movement. Detailing connections between cinematic artifice and topics such as politics, gender, and genre, Stages of Reality allows readers to develop a clear sense of the multiple purposes and uses of theatricality in film.